The European Anti-Poverty Network has read with interest the Commission’s Communication: A strong social Europe for just transitions and the related package of documents. Our network and our members will respond more fully in due course – at this stage we share our initial reactions.
European Pillar of Social Rights
EAPN has been calling for years the fulfillment of political agreements and thus fully welcoming such initiative. However ambition without concrete actions is not going anywhere. EAPN is therefore calling on political leaders all over Europe to step up their ambition in the fight against poverty and inequality. We are therefore expecting an Action Plan in early 2021.
Regarding the “Fair working conditions” goal, the EC has launched the first phase consultation with social partners on the issue of fair minimum wages for workers. Considering all the stakes, the Commission is listening closely as the views on minimum wages divides the States especially regarding its potential binding nature. EAPN Director Leo Williams recently shared his view on the matter underlying the necessity of the legally binding nature.
Green New Deal
With the European Green Deal (EGD), the newly established EC has marked its ambition to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. We recognise its potential positive impact on Europe but we must insist on the necessity that the poor are not going to pay for the Just Transition and that no one is left behind. Moreover, we regret that the the EGD does not seem to recognise that companies which have the most responsibility for creating the climate emergency should be taxed accordingly.
We are pleased to see that the Commission specifically address the fight against poverty and exclusion. Nonetheless, we need a comprehensive plan to tackle poverty and not just promises.
Copyright Image: European Union, 2020